Unlocking iQIES: The latest updates from CMS

Sam PateSecure News, SimpleAnalyzer2 Comments

NOTE: This post contains the latest iQIES information for Simple clients as of Jan. 18, 2023. We'll continue to update this information as CMS releases new guidance.

Important iQIES updates from CMS

Over the past few months, we’ve alerted Simple clients about the upcoming transition to iQIES for MDS transmissions to CMS. As a reminder, CMS is upgrading the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) to a new, enhanced system called iQIES (internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System) for all providers.  

Later this year, iQIES will become the official portal for managing provider information and transmitting your MDS data. CMS has not announced the date for this transition but has communicated it will be “early 2023.” 

This blog post will update you on the most recent iQIES updates from CMS. After a productive call with CMS personnel, Simple has confirmed a plan to ensure that all Simple clients will continue to have full access for MDS data transmission.

What steps do Simple clients need to complete now?

To ensure continued CMS connectivity and timely MDS submissions, there are three important steps Simple clients  should complete now:

1) If you haven’t yet set up a Provider Security Official (PSO) for your facility, it’s critically important that you do so now. All future CMS connectivity relies on this. Follow these steps to register your Provider Security Official (PSO):

    • Identify at least one individual within your organization who will be the PSO. You must have a PSO identified at your organization who will then approve future iQIES roles, including PSO status for Simple as your authorized data submitter.
    • Each individual will need to register for iQIES login credentials by creating an account in the HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) system at: https://harp.cms.gov/register 
    • Set up MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) for your account and complete the Identify Proofing process. 
    • Access iQIES using your HARP ID and password: https://iqies.cms.gov/ 
    • Initiate your Provider Security Official (PSO) role request using your provider CCN. 
    • Once your request has been submitted AND approved, you will receive an email notification. At this point, you will have authority to approve/deny requests for iQIES access and role types in the HARP system. 

            CMS has provided videos explaining the registration process with HARP. 

            2) Look for an email in the next few days from HARP, then approve the requested additional iQIES role allowing Simple to transmit your MDS data. Per CMS requirements, this additional role will be tied to an individual at Simple (in this case, Jason Jones, Chief Technology Officer at Simple). 

              • If you have approved a PSO request from Simple already, please plan to complete that step again. While updating the official plan for software provider access, CMS reset the PSO accounts for all software providers. Therefore, we must send that request again using the new process.

            3) Continue transmitting your MDS files usual. If your new iQIES roles are configured properly, you’ll see no change or interruption in your normal MDS transmission workflow within Simple. 

              What else do Simple clients need to know?

              Following are some frequently asked questions about iQIES and how it affects your Simple software and MDS transmissions: 

              When will the iQIES system go live? 

              CMS has communicated that iQIES will go online for all SNF providers in “early 2023.” While we don’t know exactly what that means, we anticipate it will be as early as April or as late as July.  

              Will this change how I submit MDS data through Simple? 

              No. If you have properly configured your PSO roles in iQIES, allowing Simple to have access to manage your MDS data, you will not notice a change in your MDS transmission workflow. 

              Will any other changes be necessary besides setting up the iQIES PSO accounts? 

              Once Simple has been configured as a trusted PSO and data partner for submitting MDS data on your behalf, we may need to add some additional iQIES roles. These are necessary for us to continue uninterrupted data transmission and to manage your timely MDS submissions. 

              Where will I find my CASPER reports under iQIES? 

              Under iQIES, the existing CASPER reporting system will no longer exist. We don’t yet know what the new iQIES reporting system will look like, but we are in continual contact with CMS and will alert our clients as soon as we have more information. 

              Are there are any resources on iQIES available from CMS? 

              Yes, CMS released several User Manuals for iQIES in January 2023. They are linked below.

              Will Simple provide any additional information about iQIES? 

              Yes. We’re currently planning an iQIES webinar for the February-March timeframe to provide updated information about iQIES. In the meantime, please check the Simple blog for the latest updates. We will also send alert emails with any time-sensitive iQIES information. 

              What if I have more questions about iQIES or PSO configuration? 

              If you’re a Simple client who currently transmits your MDS data through SimpleAnalyzer/SimpleConnect, you can reach out to our Support Team with additional questions. 

              What is iQIES?

              iQIES is an internet-based system that will be used for all submissions and communications to and from CMS, including MDS submissions, surveys, and certifications. For official iQIES manuals from CMS, please visit: https://qtso.cms.gov/software/iqies/reference-manuals

              CMS has been planning this transition for a few years. iQIES is already underway for home health agencies. In the skilled nursing space, the transition was delayed due to COVID.

              CMS recently announced that the official transition to iQIES for skilled nursing will occur in early 2023. At this point, all transmissions to CMS will go through iQIES. CMS has not specified an exact date for the transition yet, so look for more updates to come.

              2 Comments on “Unlocking iQIES: The latest updates from CMS”

              1. HI,

                I saw this “iQIES alert” and asked the 2 staff who will be the PSO for Premier BH 7 facilities. They followed the process, but I noticed that there was no change in the transmission workflow. Is this just a reminder? or they were not accepted as the PSO for PremierBH facilities?

                Thanks.

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